Franziska murder accused: ‘I am sorry’
Share this article:
Cape Town - One of the men charged with the rape and murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger has written to her parents to say sorry.
It has emerged that the accused, Howard Oliver, 27, brought the letter to the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court when he appeared on April 5.
Oliver stood in the dock a short distance from his co-accused, Jerome Moses, Daniel Easter and Jonathan Jonas as he and his lawyer had a lengthy discussion.
Weekend Argus has been told the handwritten letter contains an apology to the Blöchligers and expresses Oliver’s regret and remorse.
Adrian Samuels, an advocate appointed to represent the family, this week confirmed the existence of the letter and that Oliver had written to the Blöchligers to ask for their forgiveness.
However, he said it was too early in the proceedings for formal pleas to be made and it would be premature to submit such a letter to the court.
He said Franziska’s parents, Florian and Shireen Blöchliger, were aware of the letter.
“They are not seeking revenge. They just want the law to take its course and for those responsible to be held accountable,” he said, adding the family “has every confidence in the prosecution”.
However, the same cannot be said about people in the public gallery during the accused’s court appearances.
People have been so enraged that they made hissing and spitting sounds at the men and even swore at them, becoming more emotional when the court was told Franziska had been raped.
Samuels said he had a watching brief to facilitate the prosecution of the accused and help if necessary.
He said he had offered his services pro bono because of the seriousness of the offences committed and the “horrific” injuries that Franziska had sustained.
The teen was found murdered in March after she had separated from her mother and sister to go for a run in Tokai Forest.
Her body was discovered roughly 200m from the point where she and her mother had agreed to meet. She had been robbed of her iPhone and watch. Oliver and co-accused, Moses and Easter, are to apply for their release on bail on Thursday, when the results of DNA tests are expected to be made available.
The fourth accused, Jonas, has abandoned his bid for bail, apparently due to an unrelated case pending against him.
The four men face charges of murder, rape and aggravated robbery.
Meanwhile, it has emerged Franziska’s parents are to sell their family home in Muizenberg which holds treasured memories of their time with her.
Some people, who knew the family and who did not want to be quoted, said the move was because the house had too many reminders of Franziska.
However, the parents conveyed through Samuels that their plans to sell the house predated Franziska’s death.
Speculation that they intended to leave South Africa following their horrific ordeal was also untrue, he said. The family recently returned to Cape Town after a trip abroad.
A neighbour told Weekend Argus this week she could identify with the family’s turmoil.
Beula Breytenbach was not close to the family, but said she too had been deeply affected by Franziska’s murder.
She was part of a group of elderly, retired people who enjoyed walking and just hours before Franziska was killed, they had happened to walk through the forest.
When they heard about the murder they went to the crime scene, formed a small circle, held hands and offered a few words in prayer.
Breytenbach has vowed never to return to Tokai Forest.